about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

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    A Look Back.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Broccoli Pasta Salad.

I have been thinking about making this next creation for weeks now.  I’ve even bought three separate heads of broccoli with the intention of bringing this recipe to life, all of which ended up frantically being roasted at their last stage of green-ness. 

I don’t know why it took me so long, but I’m glad I didn’t throw in the towel.  This pasta salad is a perfect addition to any summer party menu – light, refreshing, and healthy!  Did I mention it is also vegan?  Guess what?  It’s gluten-free too!

Vegan & Gluten-Free Broccoli Pasta Salad

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(Print this recipe!)

Ingredients: (makes 6 servings)

  • 16 oz bag brown rice fusilli pasta (gluten-free)
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 cup grated carrot (~4 medium carrots)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup Nayonaise (or light mayo)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt to taste

Instructions:  Start by cooking pasta according to package directions. 

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While the pasta cooks, chop broccoli into small florets and set aside.

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In a small bowl, whisk together the Nayonaise, vinegars, honey, and salt.  I prefer this dairy-free mayo because it is much lower in both calories and fat than even light traditional mayo.  For another vegan alternative, Vegenaise can also be used.

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Set dressing aside once combined.

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Carefully grate carrots and try not to cut your wrist on the grater like I did.  Ouch.

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Once pasta is finished cooking, use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove cooked pasta and transfer to a colander in the sink.  Very important – DO NOT drain the pasta water!  Run cold water over pasta for 30 seconds to stop any carryover cooking.

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Once the pasta water has come back to a boil, drop the broccoli florets into the water to blanch quickly for just 1-2 minutes.  You don’t want to over-cook the broccoli, just heat enough to soften the slightest bit.

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Remove broccoli with slotted spoon and add to colander on top of pasta.  Give it another shot of cold water to stop any additional cooking.

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Transfer pasta and broccoli to a large mixing bowl and top with carrots, raisins, and almonds.

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Add dressing and toss to combine.  Season generously with salt.

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Serve with your favorite summer side dish!  Best enjoyed warm or at room temperature.

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The dressing is light and sweet – just enough to bring a delicious creamy flavor without all the heaviness of traditional pasta salads.

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Bonus points if you recycle the pot of water for a third time, and toss in a few ears of corn. 

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I keep hearing that is 100+ degrees on the east side of the country.  Sounds like you all could use a refreshing meal like this!  I won’t tell you that it’s still 65 with a cool breeze out here in Seattle.

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The great thing about this pasta salad is that it’s tasty and simple enough to be a hit with any crowd, but being vegan and gluten-free, it can also solve those tricky situations where you have dietary restrictions within your family or group. 

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As always, I hope you enjoy!

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84 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Chloe (South Beach Diet Girl)     at 2:37 pm

Looks delicious! I just tried brown rice pasta for the first time a few weeks ago and really like it, although it is expensive.


Emily Malone Reply:

The Trader Joe’s brand is really inexpensive!


Madison @ Espresso and Cream     at 2:39 pm

Love this recipe! We’ve been having terribly hot weather here in Iowa for the past few days, but today it’s rainy and hailing. Either way, this pasta salad sounds perfect for a lot of different occasions. Love that it’s vegan and gluten free!


Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey     at 2:40 pm

My almost-MIL is gluten-free (she has celiac), so I am *always* looking for yummy foods to make for family get-togethers. Looks great!

And yes, it’s fiendishly hot here in Charlotte. So jealous of your weather out there! :)



R @ Learning As I Chop     at 2:43 pm

I’ve always been afraid of mayo alternatives. For some reason, I think they’re going to be full of chemicals or other gross additives.


Emily Malone Reply:

This one has a very short ingredient list.


Lauren     at 2:43 pm

Thanks for doing a gluten free post!! Love finding new GF recipes.


Emily Malone Reply:

Sure thing!


Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)     at 2:45 pm

Pasta salad is always a crowd pleaser! All the flavor and texture combinations are endless. This looks delicious! Love the colors you put in it!


Katie KS     at 2:46 pm

Yay! Looks good. Sadly I had to invent my own for the cookout on Sunday :) It was good, though! Yours looks good too. We do have gluten issues in the family, but also almond allergies, so I’d have to leave those out. Next time, I’ll try it. I’ll see if I can find that brand of noodles. The time I tried to use gluten-free pasta it did not taste good.


Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey Reply:

You can’t see it on the bag above, but I’m pretty certain that is Trader Joe’s brand rice pasta.
(Right, Emily?)



Emily Malone Reply:

Yes, from Trader Joe’s! Its definitely my favorite GF pasta.


Brittany @ Bohemian Transplant     at 2:47 pm

I’m new to the gluten-free world AND am trying to be as vegan as possible. Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it!


Christine     at 2:54 pm

This looks really good- I love broccoli but not raw, so this will work for me.


Kamaile     at 2:58 pm

100 degrees in the shade in Texas! I will be making this!


Jennifer P     at 3:01 pm

Oooh, that looks so yummy! And I love brown rice pasta (I get it from the bulk stores here). I don’t like raisins though, so I think I’ll swap those out for dries cranberries… they’ll add another colour too! :)


Emily Malone Reply:

Good swap!


Cynthia (It All Changes)     at 3:03 pm

This looks great but I’ll have to unveganize it (is that a word) because of the soy. Perhaps I’ll attempt my own mayo :-)


Amber K Reply:

That’s exactly what I was thinking! Thankfully I can do dairy and always sub in Greek yogurt wherever I see mayo being used.


Emily Malone Reply:

You can always use regular mayo too!


Freya     at 3:03 pm

That looks good! And I am so glad someone else intends to make a recipe, buys the ingredients..and then doesn’t. I do it all the time!


Emily Malone Reply:

ALL the time!


Christina     at 3:04 pm

That looks amazing!!! I’m a complete fan of pasta salads and I love packing in the veggies. Great for a summer treat :)


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 3:12 pm

Oh that looks so good! I’ve always been turned off by Veganaise, but Nayonaise looks pretty good! I like the ingredient list!


Michelle (The Runner's Plate)     at 3:16 pm

I’ve made something very similar before! I love making these kind of salads for summer!

It was 50* here in Alaska this morning–HALF the temp on the East Coast!!


meredith     at 3:21 pm

that seriously looks delicious. i can’t wait to try that recipe out.


Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life     at 3:21 pm

Wow raisins and almonds in a pasta salad in a nice twist! Ill have to try this at my next cookout!


Stefanie @TheNewHealthy     at 3:25 pm

Mm, this looks fantastic and it’s perfect for summer!


Amy     at 3:25 pm

Looks good! (But you’d have to sub agave for the honey to make it vegan. :) Have you tried the reduced-fat Vegenaise? It’s my fave! Harder to find though, sometimes.


Emily Malone Reply:

I don’t usually count honey as an animal product (esp since I can’t have agave while pregnant), but I guess that’s true!


jen @ taste life     at 3:25 pm

I generally do not like pasta (or any other) salad with a mayo based dressing, but this one looks really, really good. Plus of course it doesn’t have mayo!


Lindsay     at 3:32 pm

Love raisins in salads! Looks delish!


Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me     at 3:41 pm

omg this looks delicious! I have to make a broccoli salad for a work function tomorrow. I thought I had found a recipe but upon seeing this I’m not sure! ;)


Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews     at 3:44 pm

That looks delicious! I love pasta salads in the summer.


Maryann     at 3:45 pm

Yes, it’s hot and HUMID here. Eastern PA. Just checked it’s 94* feels like 100* it was 101 an hour ago. This recipe looks really good. This weekend. I have to get the pasta but might have whole wheat.


Emily Malone Reply:

Stay cool!


Julie (A Case of the Runs)     at 3:51 pm

Looks good! I tried GF spaghetti once and wasn’t sure how I felt about that. Maybe I can give it another shot.


Emily Malone Reply:

It’s a little chewier, but I really like this Trader Joe’s brand!


Red Deception     at 3:55 pm

That looks tasty! I am always trying to find ways to make Nayonaise into vegan friendly dressings and sauces. I am not terribly creative :(


Katie @ Life... Discombobulated     at 4:13 pm

This looks so good, Emily! I can’t wait to make it! (In fact, I might not wait for an event – maybe I’ll just eat it all myself…)


allison     at 4:31 pm

I love having pasta salad in the summer! I will make it at least once a week and its different every time:)

I cant believe that its 65 degrees over there!!! Here in sunny Florida it feels like its over 100!


Alison     at 4:51 pm

Where do you get Nayonaise? I have been looking for it for a while and cant find it anywhere!


Kelly @foodiefresh     at 5:00 pm

That sounds so fresh and delicious! And yes, you’re correct. It is crazy hot here right now!


kris (everyday oats)     at 5:09 pm

Its super hot in central US as well, but I guess it’s a given around this time a year. I’m so jealous of your 65 degree weather!

How does brown rice pasta compare to whole wheat or regular pasta? It’s expensive to buy at the store here and I’m afraid to buy it in case I don’t like the taste/texture. Sometimes, depending on the brand, whole wheat pasta has a grittyness that I’m not too big a fan of.


Silvia @ skinny jeans food     at 5:11 pm

This pasta salad looks fabulous, but to be honest, in my humble opinion… Nayonaise is nasty… Veganaise is a dream and it also comes in a low-fat version (half the calories of the usual).


Alayna @ Thyme Bombe     at 5:13 pm

That sounds delicious! BTW, my husband still has the weather for Seattle saved on his phone from when we took a trip there last month. We torture ourselves by checking it every now and again when it’s 96 degrees outside in Hot-lanta.


Ashley     at 5:33 pm

OOoh, yum!! I am all over this. I love brown rice pasta. :)


Emily @ Comfortable Home Life     at 5:42 pm

Ohh yum! I love pasta salad but I always end up with wayyy too much pasta in the finished product. Your pasta to broccoli and other yummy things ratio looks about perfect. Bookmarked!


Kayla     at 5:52 pm

I just tried that brand of rice pasta and it was the best i’ve ever had! And one of the cheapest! I love trader joes!


Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet     at 8:02 pm

I love having a pop of sweetness in my salads and pasta salads! I’d love to make this, maybe with some apple chunks :)


katie @ KatieDid     at 8:05 pm

looks delicious as usual. I love GF pasta and really don’t taste the difference anymore now that I’m used to it. The nuts and dried fruit probably add a great texture combo too..


Lauren     at 8:22 pm

Such a great pasta salad recipe. I admit, I hate mayo but I’m curious to try the vegan version. Does it taste like mayo??


Bridget     at 8:48 pm

Looks yummy! Is vegan mayo safer for picnics/longer time outside the fridge?


Gina @ running to the kitchen     at 9:34 pm

I would really like some of this right now :) looks delicious!


Sarah @ See Sarah Eat     at 9:48 pm

That looks absolutely delicious! :)


Maria@healthydiaries     at 9:57 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! Can’t wait to make it! Thank you for being a genius!


Katie     at 10:51 pm

This looks SO delicious! Note to self: buy all of the above ingredients and make this next week! yum!!


Krista @ Can't Survive on Yarn Alone     at 11:03 pm

This looks soooo good.

I am def needing to try this (though w reg mayo) for a potluck BBQ this summer.


Andrea @ AndreaSomething     at 11:29 pm

This looks delicious!! And bonus – I have all the ingredients in my refrigerator already. I think that 1) my meat only eating boyfriend would love this (we love broccoli) and 2) this is the perfect recipe for a lazy weekend evening!


Bridget     at 11:35 pm

Hi Emily! Where did you buy the pasta? My daughter was recently diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease and I am on the hunt for gluten-free recipes/product. Also- my sister passed your blog to me- her and her husband went to college with your hubby! (E & D Jenks)


Sarah@The Flying ONION     at 6:44 am

This is spectacular!! My graduation party from the internship is in a couple of weeks, and I have a friend who’s vegan and who has celiac. I’m making this! :D


Charlie     at 7:27 am

This looks delicious. Ready for lunch now- unfortunately not this. Although I will be making it on Monday!! Thanks for another great recipe xx P.S It is thundering and lightning in London with pouring rain.


Sarah     at 8:25 am

This is PERFECT. I’m a vegetarian, and my sister-in-law is allergic to wheat (among about 5 other things). This is something I can make, and everyone will be happy. I’m so excited about this-thank you for posting!


Lauren @ Hungry Child in the City     at 9:03 am

This looks extremely refreshing and tasty. You are correct, it’s about a zillion degrees in NYC. I totally need something like this to cool me down! I love that it’s gluten free. So many meals are not, it’s hard to find great GF recipes, so thank you :)


Marissa     at 9:34 am

Yumm! I’ve been looking for a good, wholesome broccoli salad recipe for ages (its something I always love to get at salad bars but can never seem to get right at home) and this just might fit the bill! Can’t wait to try it!


Elisabeth     at 10:05 am

Ahhhh! So jealous of your weather right now – it was 98 and 100 the past two days in NW Ohio. I have a coworker who is moving back home to Oregon now that his fiance finished grad school here. He was talking about living 30 min from the coast and the awesome summers… I think I’m moving to the NW!


Stephanie     at 11:56 am

I made this but used Craisins instead of raisins (just used what I had) and added pepperoncini for a little kick. I’m in Texas, what can I say. YUMMY!!! Thanks for the recipe and good luck with your pregnancy!


Lauren @ La Dolce Pita     at 12:02 pm

That broccoli looks gorgeously green. Can’t wait to try this – it will be my first venture into gluten-free cooking, and I’ve never tasted Vegenaise before!


Adriane     at 1:06 pm

I’m not vegan, nor do I ‘need’ to be gluten free, but I’m making this! It looks amazing and would be a big hit. I have super picky in-laws (velveeta block is the only cheese they’ll eat and pimento loaf is their favorite sandwich) but I may be able to sneak in a healthy alternative at the reunion this year. Thank you! ps-It’s 92 with thunderstorms here in Florida…But we’re used to it. :)


Sophiegoose     at 2:03 pm

I love the amount of broccoli in this salad. I hate when pasta salads are almost all just pasta!


Erin     at 4:31 pm

does the honey go in the dressing mixture??


Kate @ NaturaStride     at 4:40 pm

Nice – the raisins are an awesome add. I’ll definitely have to remember this to bring to a BBQ this year – thanks!
Have a fun weekend :)


Nikki     at 10:41 am

Just made this for a picnic in the shade later today here on the east coast, but used cranberries instead of raisins (personal preference), and Veganaise. I assumed the honey went in the dressing mixture…

Great recipe! Easy and cheap. Love your site!


Jaime     at 11:18 am

I’ll switch out the honey for agave nectar, but other than that this looks absolutely perfect. We’re in full-blown summertime mode over here. Salads are king.


Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out     at 7:36 am

I’ve never tried that GF pasta. What was the texture like?


Jo     at 7:27 am

Yay, I just made&enjoyed this dish! I wanted to try it since I saw the recipe, but when my mom brought in baby carrots from our garden, I knew today was the day tehe. I loved it to bits, and that’s a lot coming from a broccoli-apprehensive person hehe.
I sliced rather than grated my carrots though because they were small and not rough at all, and it was delicious, I really appreciated the crunch they provided.


Kathleen     at 2:30 pm

I made this for a pot luck and was so happy I set aside a bit because the crowd devoured all that I brought!
This recipe was excellent. As I struggled to get all the noodles out of the water with a slotted spoon, the thought occurred to me that I could have thrown the broccoli in during the last few minutes and strained it all at once. The other thought I had was to blanch the broccoli first and cook the noodles in the broccoli water instead of the other way around. Next time, and there certainly will be a next time.


Heidi     at 11:11 pm

I did a quick search on your site for broccoli and found this recipe. We’ve had an outstanding supply of broccoli from our garden this year and I wanted to find a new way to prepare it. I made some minor adjustments based on what we had in the house and it was a major hit with my kids, ages 3 and 5. They even took seconds! It was delicious and easy to prepare.


Jo     at 8:10 pm

I wanted to love this but the finished result was rather unappetizing. I felt it was important to say so because all but maybe 2 of the other comments say how delicious the recipe sounded. Not many actually made it.


The gluten free pasta salad recipe collection! Pasta and not only. | Chocolate Spoon & The Camera     at 11:56 am

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Broccoli Pasta Salad     at 5:53 pm

[...] one of my favorite quick dinners to whip up! This is slightly adapted from dailygarnish’s recipe. I changed the type of pasta, adjusted the amount of almonds and raisins, and increased the [...]

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